Though we are by no means restricted to the convent, (and in fact, our entire purpose is to venture into the community) it can be oddly tempting to stay within the convent walls. Some days we drink coffee, eat breakfast, attend class, prepare meals, socialize, study and turn in for the night without stepping a foot outdoors. The ceilings are high, the windows and mouldings are beautiful, we can marvel at stained glass. I think it creates a bit of a barrier here- there’s the convent, and then there’s the rest of the world. It’s an interesting space to inhabit.
Today I got out a little, though, and visited the senior’s home in Witless Bay, Aldergrove Estates. There I met a woman from Ferryland, Babe Walsh.
Babe and her husband used to rear ponies. In her earlier days, everyone used horses for transportation and other utilitarian purposes. Babe held onto her horses long after most people sold theirs off. Some of Babe’s horses lived well into their 40’s!
Babe briefly introduced me to a number of women at the home, from all along the southern shore. Almost everyone expressed their fondness for the particular senior’s home in question. There’s a book club, musical entertainment, exercise sessions, the whole nine yards. Babe and her friends talked about how there was no need of exercise in the old days, not when there was wood to be chopped, water to be lugged, and gardening to be done.
This is the first summer that Babe has spent outside of her home in Ferryland. Last year, Lisa Wilson and Justin Oakey filmed a wonderful video of Babe in the house she grew up in.
I very much appreciated Babe’s warmth and spirit, and I look forward to spending more time with the seniors of Witless Bay.